Category Archives: Politics

Robert Irwin (Lincoln banker & friend)

On May 18, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln wrote to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase about an “old friend who has served me all my life, and who has never before received or asked anything in return.” The friend, Robert Irwin, … Continue reading

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Springfield city charter election, 1840

Springfield officially became a city on April 6, 1840. Springfield already had been incorporated as a town in 1832. As the community grew, however, city officials – including Abraham Lincoln, who became a town board member in 1839 — asked … Continue reading

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Lithuanian radicals in Sangamon County

Excerpted from the introduction to “Leftist Lithuanians,” an entry  on the blog Lithuanians in Springfield, lllinois, written by Sandy Baksys: From the beginning of 1930s through the late 1950s, Springfield seems to have been home to the “Lithuanian Lodge,” the local … Continue reading

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The Political Rise of the Adamitis & Yacubasky Families

From Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois The story goes that for decades, Republican Party leader Don “Doc” Adams (Lith. Adomaitis) of Springfield exercised significant patronage power in both the public and private sectors. When Doc died in 2011 at age 75, … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Hotels & taverns, Lithuanians, Politics, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Social life | 2 Comments

Stephen A. Douglas’ missing finger

Before he was Abraham Lincoln’s foil in the 1858 contest for U.S. Senate in Illinois and then for the presidency in 1860, Stephen A. Douglas was a regular presence and sometime resident in Springfield. Douglas also was, briefly, Lincoln’s rival … Continue reading

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Nelson Howarth (Springfield mayor)

Nelson Howarth (1911-91) was the colorful, combative mayor of Springfield for three terms between 1955 and 1971. During his administrations, Springfield was named an All American city, city boundaries were greatly expanded, and the city initiated construction of a new … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Crime and vice, Law enforcement, Lincoln Home, Local government, Politics, Prominent figures, Springfield | 4 Comments

Elizabeth Magie (‘Monopoly’ precursor)

Elizabeth Magie, who designed the heart of what later became the board game Monopoly, spent much of her youth in Springfield. Magie (1866-1948) moved with her family to Springfield in the late 1870s, after her father, formerly a newspaper editor … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Media, Politics, Prominent figures, State government | 2 Comments

Sheriff’s ouster, 1933

Sangamon County Sheriff Samuel T. Metcalf (1867-1945) was ousted from office in 1933 on the grounds of insanity, a condition apparently brought on by a head injury Metcalf suffered in a fistfight with an Illinois State Journal police reporter. The … Continue reading

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Sheriffs, 1821-2019 (list)

Here is a list of people – all men – who have served as sheriff of Sangamon County since the county was established on Jan. 30, 1821. Dates indicate when the sheriffs were commissioned unless noted. John Taylor: 1821, ’22, … Continue reading

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Circuit clerks, 1821-2015 (list)

The histories of the 27 people – 25 men and two women – who have held the office of Sangamon County circuit clerk were researched in 2011 by Savannah Little. The resulting brief biographies can be read on the circuit … Continue reading

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